Since getting sick last week, the girls and I have been home almost exclusively for an entire week. We’ve gotten out for some walks, even a van ride, but mostly just sitting around the house. All of this, combined with the grumpiness that comes from still not feeling great, leads to lots of fighting between my two girls. Now, somehow, I guess that there are families where siblings don’t fight. I don’t really get this–in fact, it kind of depresses me. But just recently it occurred to me that perhaps people’s definition of their children “fighting” is different than mine.
It reminds me of some good friends of ours who, when we were all newlyweds, would say, “Oh, we don’t fight.” I remember wondering what the heck was wrong with my marriage (or me) if Dave and I were having disagreements and they weren’t. After hearing their (obnoxious) proclamation over and over again, and then also hearing some of the tough “discussions” they had, I realized that their definition of a “fight” was different than mine and Dave’s. To me, a “fight” was where a discussion got heated or touchy or aroused strong emotions such as anger or hurt. Heck, even a simple confrontation or a little honesty felt like a fight to me. My friends must have thought fists, yelling, and swearing had to be involved to make it a real fight or something. (Gosh, what did they think our marriage was like if we said “we have lots of fights!”….ha, ha…). It wasn’t that they had fewer disagreements or tense moments or hard decisions; they just called them by a different name (or didn’t even factor them in a category at all!).
Is this what people who say “my kids don’t fight–they’re best friends” do also? My girls can play so silly together, they can sometimes take turns and share well, and they can do so many sweet and thoughtful things for one another. But man, there are days or moments (or weeks, if you’re couped up) where they are really at each other’s throats. Yelling, crying, and teeth/hands as weapons are often involved, so I’m sure my old “we don’t fight” friends would even categorize these as “true fights.” Ugh. They get ugly. And after a week of it, I resorted to my favorite way to manage it:
Separate them! One kid in each bedroom with a toy of choice. Sofie has to stay in bed playing the whole time, Annika has worked up to being allowed to play on the floor. Doors shut, timer set (today for 45 minutes) and no one is allowed to come out or yell for me during that time. Glorious. And everyone comes off separate play time a much happier soul.
To sum it all up, I think good sisters throw a few slaps, cry like the world is coming to an end over an argument, give lots of make-up hugs, and play hard when the spirit moves (or after Mom has separated you). A little bit of that made us friends, right Bridgit? Here is hoping my girls won’t stay mortal enemies for long and will stay best friends forever!
No longer enemies, only friends. 🙂